Editorial — May 22, 2014

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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A Prince Albert Collegiate Institute Grade 12 English Language Arts A30 class taught by Evonne Garrett worked with Daily Herald managing editor Perry Bergson last month on writing editorials for newspapers. Over the next month we’ll give them a chance to speak up on issues that are meaningful to them. This one was written by Evan Gordon.

 

Have the oilsands companies been taking things way too far? Alberta’s oilsands hold an estimated 171.3 billion barrels of oil in the reserve, and the companies collect about 1.9 million barrels of oil per day! For every action there is a reaction. In this case for every action that the oilsands companies make, there will always be an impact on the environment.

The oilsands companies have done so much for us already. They have created many tailing ponds designed to hold all of the waste that the oilsands companies produce. They have said multiple times that the ponds were safe for the environment.

The companies also want to expand their production rate; it is expected to increase to 3.1 million barrels of oil a day by 2021! Not only this, but we are now supporting not only Canada’s need for oil but the Americans greedy need for the black gold, Thanks a bunch.

Sure Alberta’s oilsands have made a positive impact on the economy, but the question is: Was it worth it? Now, here is the problem with all of this. It is now a proven fact that the tailing ponds are a hazardous tool for the environment: All of the wastes stored in the tailing ponds have many ways of affecting our environment. The waste can seep into the ground and find paths into underground water reserves and even into the great Athabasca River! The waste can also evaporate and cause multiple air pollution problems and deadly human health risks in the area.

We should not be supporting the American need for oil; the U.S. now depends on us to fuel their industrial and war based needs. This will have major impacts on our environment! To make things worse, if they keep increasing the number of barrels that they collect not only will more waste be produced to fill the horrible tailing ponds but the amount of land that is destroyed to receive these ridiculous amounts of oil is insane!

We seriously need to put a stop to this; we need to stop the production of the oilsands until the process becomes greener for our environment. We also need to take only what we need from the sands, not the maximum. If we keep following our path now, who knows what sort of nasty environment our grandkids will have to live through. Is that what we want?

We can prevent this by supporting many major non-government environment groups such as Greenpeace and the Pembina institute. Their goal is to stop the process of the oilsands until it is much safer for the environment.

We need to take action now, for a positive reaction in the future.

 

Organizations: Prince Albert Collegiate Institute Grade, Daily Herald, Greenpeace Pembina institute

Geographic location: Alberta, Canada, Athabasca River U.S.

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